Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Live Thoughts: Chelsea vs Liverpool (Carling Cup)

I covered this match live. Here are my unedited thoughts when Liverpool took on Chelsea in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup.

Hey there, welcome to another live thoughts feed. We're in the quarter finals now of the Carling Cup, and we're up against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in a rematch from the Premier League just nine days ago. And while we won that match with a pretty damn good display, this is a different kettle of fish. I'm really looking forward to this match actually. Kenny Dalglish complained (and rightfully so) about the stupidity of us playing two high quality matches in three days. It is silly. How are they going to keep up with the integrity of the cup if they don't give the first team the chance to recuperate? It's nonsense. So we'll see a lot of youngsters today I reckon, and Andre Villas-Boas has hinted he will too. So it's going to be a very interesting match, and I can't wait to watch it. Can we win? Well we did nine days ago, but just like it was then, it's going to be very hard, and some achievement too. Let's hope we get to the semi finals!

Here are the teams:

Chelsea: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Luiz, Alex, Bertrand, Lampard, Romeu, McEachran, Malouda, Torres, Lukaku. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Ramires, Mata, Ferreira, Kalou, Anelka.

A weakened side for Chelsea, as expected, but this team can still cause us problems if needed. Lampard, Torres and Alex are the three players in the spine of the squad that can easily cause us issues. Wary.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Coates, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Lucas, Spearing, Maxi, Bellamy, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Suarez, Kuyt, Downing, Adam, Skrtel, Flanagan.

A strong side. Not the strongest, Suarez, Kuyt and Adam on the bench, but a lot of these players saw decent minutes on the pitch on Sunday. Lets hope fatigue doesn't hit the squad and instead we show the same form we did nine days ago! Interesting!

2' - David Luiz fell in the box and gets a yellow card for diving! Was it a dive? It was Coates in the box for the tackle. He was definitely looking for the penalty, and it looks like the ref was right.

5' - It's nice to see Bellamy back on the pitch, he just has raw pace that is hard to be equalled in our squad at the moment. While we're on the subject, my thoughts are with the family of Gary Speed, what shocking, flabbergasting news on Sunday. Such mysterious circumstances.

8' - It's also good to see Carra and Spearing getting some first team football too. Carra obviously, recovering from an injury and Spearing finding it difficult to get games this season what with the abundance of options in the centre of the pitch for us.

10' - A nice tussle between Martin Kelly and Ryan Bertrand ends in a Liverpool corner, which leads nowhere.

12' - The crowd is absolutely dead at the moment, apart from the Liverpool away crowd booing Torres whenever he has the ball. Stamford Bridge is awful when nothing is going on, and the crowd roars only when there's good action. Naive crowd.

14' - Chelsea starting to get a bit of possession in and around the final third. It's not leading to any major chances yet but the signs are there.

17' - There's so much talk about Carroll and Torres, it's a little frustrating. Everyone but Chelsea and Liverpool fans care about the transfer fees. Let's get something clear, it wasn't about the fees, it was about getting Torres out of Liverpool, and us making the most of a crap situation. Carroll hasn't scored many goals but I think long term he'll be okay.

20' - PENALTY! An odd situation. We break and it ends with Alex and Carroll tussling and Alex handballs, with only Carroll really claiming for it. After around ten seconds, the ref awards it and Chelsea players protest.

21' - SAVED! Carroll shoots right down the middle and Ross Turnbull saves. Awful AWFUL penalty. I didnt' trust Carroll with that, his shot isn't very clinical, I'd rather had someone likle Belammy take it. Well, that's that over. We've apparently missed three out of four penalties this season.

24' - One thing the penalty has done is liven things up. The game is a lot more open now.

27' - The game as I said is a step up in intensity than it was, both sides are going for it. Not full throttle, but definitely second or third gear.

30' - While the match has stepped up there's a lot of sloppy passing from both sides.

33' - Florent Malouda goes in the book for a tackle on Lucas.

35' - Chelsea are just starting to get on top at the moment, it's not clinical but the possession is definitely there.

38' - Both sides are trying to break the other down with no major chances. There hasn't been any clear cut chances all match, apart from the penalty save.

40' - Jose Enrique takes a shot at goal from the left wing, and it's easily saved. Nice to see us try though.

41' - Chelsea Sub: Ramires comes on for McEachran, who has been struggling for a few minutes now.

43' - Foul for Liverpool as Lukaku tackles Henderson awfully. It wasn't him that got booked, it was Bertrand that got booked. Odd. It was an awful challenge and the wrong player got booked.

45' - Three minutes of added time.

45' - LUKAKU! Just wide of the post. Best chance in the game so far. A cross is whipped from the left wing and Lukaku meets it and heads it wide. Should have done better.

45+3' - Half time.

This was a pretty dire first half. Neither side took control, neither side looked like scoring for the most part. The good news is that we're matching Chelsea all over the pitch. The bad news is that penalty miss. It was an awful miss. Carroll shouldn't be taking penalties, he doesn't look clinical in the face of the penalty box, Bellamy should have took it. Lukaku's header at the end is the best chance from open play. Those two chances aside, very little happened in terms of good attempts at goal. Let's hope for a better game in the second half, and hopefully we can show to quality in our play. We're still more than in this.

48' - Haha, odd statistic, Bosingwa has played eight times against Liverpool and has never won. Also, Kenny Dalgish has never lost as manager against Chelsea.

51' - Liverpool under a little bit of trouble, Torres dribbles the ball into the box and there's a scramble, which we eventually clear.

52' - A decent Liverpool move ends disappointingly with Bellamy trying his luck from the right wing, it goes well over and wide. The game is a lot more open at the moment, let's hope it continues this way.

54' - Chelsea free kick ends in a scramble and hits the BAR! We're saved by our post.

55' - Maxi breaks free! Bellamy to his right but Luiz intercepts. There was a good chance there that wasn't taken.

56' - Jose Enrique handballs at the corner flag and Torres protests, nothing comes of it. It was handball to be fair and it wasn't given.

57' - GOAL! MAXI! Henderson releases Bellamy on the right wing and there's loads of space in the box! He puts the ball square to Maxi who slots it in! 1-0!

60' - I was about to suggest that Suarez came on before we score, as the game was opening up and it would be a game that suits him more. But now we're ahead I think we should refrain from using him for as long as possible.

62' - GOAL! Martin Kelly! An absolutely splendid cross from a free kick by Bellamy is plonked on Kelly's head and he finally scores for the Reds! We have one step in the semi finals!

63' - Chelsea Substitutions: Anelka and Mata come on for Lukaku and Malouda. Chelsea have made all their subs.

65' - Ramires tackles Lucas badly and goes in the book.

65' - Bellamy has a shot from distance and Turnbull saves it with ease. Kelly scores for us finally. He has been scoring with some ease for England, it's about time he scored for us. He kissed the badge too. I really hope and expect big things for young Kelly's career with us. Homegrown talent.

67' - Lucas is having some problems, he tackled Mata and came off worse. I hope he's okay.

69' - Lucas came back on the pitch and then fell back down to the floor. He's really not good. It's suggested that it might be ligament due to the way he's reacted to the tackle. I certainly hope not. Either way Charlie Adam is about to replace him.

71' - Liverpool Sub: Lucas is stretchered off and Adam takes his place. I really hope it's not as bad as it looks. Lucas has been absolute boss this season, he's just Mr Consistent, a tacking and passing demon in the middle of the pitch.

71' - Torres takes attempts a header and it's easily saved by Reina.

74' - Anelka has space on the outside of the penalty area! Reina runs at him, Anelka nutmegs, the Reds defence block the goal and Carragher clears. Close one!

75' - TORRES! WHAT A SAVE! Chelsea Corner and it was a fantastic effort from Torres, but it was an even better save from Reina!

78' - Liverpool Sub: Dirk Kuyt is coming on for Craig Bellamy, who has been absolutely dynamite today. Probably man of the match for me. Dirk Kuyt is coming on, who's a better defender than the Welshman.

81' - Chelsea for the past five or ten minutes have been on top but without being clinical. They haven't really took their game that much better than the first half, where as we have and got two goals as a reward. But let's not tempt fate here, if they get one goal the game would be horrible to watch for us Reds.

82' - Coates has had some praise from the commentators, and to be fair he's had his best game in a red shirt. I've been quite critical of Coates in recent Live Thoughts feeds, but the truth is that he's very young and has a lot of time to develop. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

83' - The kopites are singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" a bit too early for my liking!

84' - Chelsea fans are leaving early. Good times.

86' - Torres tries to time his run against the Liverpool defence but he's just offside.

88' - Liverpool Sub: Martin Skrtel comes on for Maxi Rodriguez. A good move by Dalglish. Maxi has been effective for the most part and his goal was very important naturally. All the subs have been used.

90' - Four minutes of added time.

90+1' - We've beaten Chelsea three times in a row since Dalglish has been in charge. Isn't it wonderful?

90+2' - Now the Reds fans are singing "You'll Never Walk Alone", now is the right time!

90+3' - Torres is offside and he attempts for goal anyway, only to put it over the bar. I can't help but laugh.

90+4' - Full time!

We're in the semi finals! It's been a long time coming but we're finally in a semi final in a competition again. Let's hope we can win the Carling Cup! We beat Chelsea to get here, surely, on our day, we can take on anyone. We haven't lost to Arsenal, Man City or Manchester United this season, we drew them all. I have a good feeling about this competition. Let's hope my gut feelings are right.

As for the performance, well, it wasn't the best, we played well enough today, where as Chelsea were dire. We had a good rally in the start of the second half, and we were suddenly two goals up. After that, well, it was a crap game again. The first half was crap, and we missed a penalty. Carroll needs to keep away from the spot kicks I'd say. Bellamy is better. Speaking of Bellamy, he's my man of the match. He was quality all night, and his second spell at Liverpool is turning out to be much more worthwhile than his first. No he's not starting every match, but when he plays he's very often effective and sticking to his purpose with a maturity and quality. That's it from me, have a good night.

For the latest updates on my work, 'like' me on Facebook here!

No comments:

Post a Comment